Electric light vehicles offer mining companies an effective way to cut their carbon emissions. Unlike petrol or diesel engine vehicles, EVs don’t produce any greenhouse gases. This makes them an excellent choice for working in enclosed spaces such as underground mines.
However, finding the right electric vehicle for mining isn’t easy. Mines often have some of the harshest working conditions around. EVs should be tough enough to withstand the wear and tear in such environments.
Tembo e-LVs are built to do exactly that. The Electric Cruiser and Electric HLX are as strong and durable as their original Toyota counterparts. However, they’re more environmentally friendly thanks to their emissions-free E-Drive motors.
What is Tembo electric light vehicles (e-LVs)?
Tembo e-LVs are electric vehicles specially designed for use in rough environments. They are built from Toyota Land Cruiser and Hilux vehicles whose diesel engines have been replaced with electric motors. Original gearboxes are also been swapped out in favour of a Tembo 1:3 reduction gearbox.
Why convert the Land Cruiser or Hilux?
Mining companies work in some of the harshest environments on Earth. Their worksites can often be found in remote locations that are difficult to reach through traditional means. Workers need vehicles that are strong and durable enough to handle long drives on very rough roads.
Two of the most common vehicles used by mining companies are the Toyota Hilux and Toyota Land Cruiser 70 series.
These electric light vehicles have a heavy-duty frame and powertrain that can operate even in harsh conditions. They also have a powerful diesel engine that is more than capable of handling heavy loads. The only problem is that these engines don’t meet future emission standards.
To solve this, Tembo reimagined these workhorses as electric light vehicles. By replacing the diesel engine with an electric motor, Tembo makes these vehicles more environmentally friendly. The electric vehicles still have the same rugged features as their original Toyota design. However, they are now 100% emissions-free.
How does it work?
Tembo e-LVs make use of high-quality components from the automotive industry. Diesel engines and gearboxes have been switched out for battery-powered electric units.
The dual batteries for the electric motor can be found under the hood and in the rear where the vehicle’s fuel tank would normally be.
One of the most noticeable features of driving a Tembo Electric Cruiser or Electric HLX is how easy it is to handle. The 110/65 KW E-Drive motor offers 250Nm of torque right from the beginning. This force is regulated by the onboard electric vehicle control unit (EVCU), resulting in a smooth driving experience.
The lack of a gearbox eliminates the need for cycling through different gears while driving. The E-Drive motor handles the vehicle’s entire RPM range from manoeuvring to highway speeds.
Tembo e-LVs also have a 4-wheel drive system with a central differential between the front and rear wheels. This effectively minimizes the potential strain on the vehicle’s drivetrain.
Features of Tembo electric light vehicles
The Tembo Electric Cruiser and Electric HLX offer features that aren’t easy to find in other electric vehicles.
Since Tembo has taken out the gearbox from the vehicle, there’s no need to change gears anymore while driving. This removes the jerking motion often seen from petrol and diesel engine vehicles when switching gears.
Tembo e-LVs have also been fitted with EVCUs capable of handling the gradual increase in power for the drivetrain. The control unit lessens the stress on the driveline and ensures a smooth driving experience.
Better weight distribution
One of the biggest challenges in making electric vehicles is where to put the battery unit. EVs rely on high-capacity batteries to make sure that they have enough power to operate. However, having multiple battery units on the vehicle adds to its total weight.
Tembo has addressed the problem by dividing the battery capacity over the front and the rear of its electric vehicles. This significantly improves weight distribution and prevents bouncing of the e-LV’s rear, which is a common issue when driving an empty pick-up vehicle.
Unlike fuel engine vehicles, Tembo e-LVs don’t produce much noise. In fact, the only noticeable sound comes from the tyres touching the road while driving. This can drastically reduce noise from big diesel engines operating in and around work sites.
Heavy-duty and water- and dustproof battery housing
Another challenge when operating electric vehicles is how to keep batteries operating in different environments. Tembo e-LVs are designed with a heavy-duty battery housing that is both water and dustproof to address this issue.
Tembo e-LVs come with a speed limiter to help drivers operate the vehicles according to their needs. This feature can be accessed through the dedicated software on the dashboard’s instrument panel.
To help keep Tembo e-LVs in optimal condition, we’ve also fitted them with several fleet management options. These can be accessed via the onboard instrument panel as well.
Optional fire suppression & emergency failsafe brake systems
The Tembo Electric Cruiser and Electric HLX vehicles are designed with safety as the top priority, with options to include both fire suppression and emergency failsafe brake systems.
Tembo’s fire suppression system makes use of high-pressure water combined with a small amount of foam additive. The mixture addresses all three components of a chain reaction (heat, oxygen, and fuel) that can cause a fire.
Tembo can also add an emergency failsafe brake system to e-LVs to prevent accidents due to uncontrolled vehicle movement. This wet brake system can activate if the vehicle’s door suddenly opens while driving or if the E-stop button is pressed. It can also activate if the engine key is turned off.
The Tembo e-LV brake system is specially designed to improve brake reliability and vehicle safety. It can also help reduce vehicle operating costs.
Benefits of Driving Tembo e-LV Electric Cruisers or Electric HLXs
There are several advantages to using Tembo e-LVs in mining sites. Investing in an Electric Cruiser or Electric HLX fleet avoids paying for regular petrol and diesel fill-ups. It also lets operators save money on costly oil changes and maintenance.
As 100% battery-operated vehicles, e-LVs also don’t release greenhouse gases.
Two of the biggest challenges faced by mining companies are health & safety and clean air. Many workers who operate in underground mines rely on vehicles that run on diesel power.
However, this exposes them to particulate matter that is very harmful to their health and wellbeing.
Using electric vehicles like Tembo e-LVs can help address this problem. Since they have electric motors instead of diesel engines, e-LVs don’t produce any C02 emissions. This reduces the amount of particulate matter in the air of an underground operation, helping workers to avoid serious health risks often associated with breathing polluted air.
Less noise generation
Air pollution isn’t the only problem that Tembo electric light vehicles can solve. They can also help lessen the level of noise pollution, particularly inside underground mines.
Unlike traditional fuel engine vehicles, e-LVs produce almost zero noise. The Tembo E-Drive motor can operate without making much sound, so Electric Cruiser and Electric HLX vehicles can be driven without adding to worksite noise pollution.
Less vehicle heat
Electric motors have an efficiency rating of over 90%. They also don’t generate a lot of heat. Meanwhile, combustion engines only have an efficiency of approximately 40%. They also tend to get very hot, especially when used for long periods.
Lower maintenance cost
Tembo e-LVs have significantly lower maintenance costs than if comparable petrol or diesel engine vehicles. The E-Drive motor’s regenerative braking system enables the use of the e-LV’s brakes for a much longer period than ordinary brakes. Spend on other maintenance services such as air, oil, and fuel filters is also reduced or eliminated entirely.
Lower operational cost
Vehicle operating costs will be substantially reduced by investing in an electric light vehicle fleet. Using electricity is much more affordable compared to using diesel, resulting in significantly lower fuel costs.
Another area of savings is for ventilation for underground mines. Most mining companies spend between 20-40% of their total overhead cost to provide ventilation for their work sites. This includes lowering the heat and getting rid of harmful gases inside mines.
The electric motor in Tembo e-LVs doesn’t generate the same level of heat as combustion engines. Using them won’t increase the temperature in underground mines.
VivoPower and Tembo know the importance of a reliable vehicle fleet to mining and industrial companies. That’s why only high-quality automotive components are used in building Tembo e-LVs. This ensures that Tembo e-LVs can operate exceptionally well even in rough conditions.
Tembo electric light vehicles don’t require much maintenance, avoiding long periods of downtime.
No need for expensive and hazardous fuel infrastructure
Using petrol or diesel engine vehicles typically requires an infrastructure for fossil fuel at the worksite. However, building one is very expensive and potentially dangerous.
By comparison, having an e-LV fleet doesn’t require building any new facilities. The same electric infrastructure already used for light and ventilation can be utilised to charge the vehicles. They’re also a lot safer to use than combustion engine vehicles.
World and city governments are starting to pay closer attention to the environmental impacts of greenhouse gases.
Business leaders can also commit to CO2 emission reductions by switching to an e-LV fleet. Eliminating reliance on petrol or diesel engine vehicles is a major step to meeting corporate emissions targets. Research shows that companies that commit to decarbonisation goals also become a lot more appealing to potential investors and employees as environmentally conscious organisations.
Regulatory bodies in the mining industry are starting to favour companies that commit to an all-electric underground environment. An all-electric fleet can improve the odds and speed of getting necessary approvals from these agencies. Few things show an organisation to be reputable more than investing in green vehicles and infrastructure.
Invest in a greener future
Switching to EVs isn’t just about improving existing vehicle fleets. It’s also about investing in a greener future for organisations.
The mining industry is already turning its back on fossil fuels because of their negative impact on the environment. Having an electric light vehicle fleet can help mining companies cut their emission levels.
Tembo e-LVs make the perfect choice for an EV fleet. The E-Drive motor and battery system is designed to power the vehicles even through the roughest conditions. Whether it’s the Electric Land Cruiser or the Electric HLX, these e-LVs are built to last a long time.
Investing in Tembo electric light vehicles is one of the best decisions an organisation can make.
Check out our product video for the Tembo e-LV Electric Cruiser.